A bitter public feud has erupted among the family of the late French rock star Johnny Hallyday after two of his children challenged his will, which leaves his entire reported €100m estate to his fourth wife.
Hundreds of thousands had gathered to mourn the death of the crooner they called ‘the French Elvis’ at his funeral last month in which President Emmanuel Macron delivered a eulogy that moved many to tears across the country.
But weeks after the huge show of national unity, “Johnny” came back to haunt France after his 34-year old daughter, the actress Laura Smet, announced she was challenging the will because it failed to leave her anything.
“Not a guitar, not a motorbike, and not even the signed sleeve of the song ‘Laura’ which is dedicated to her,” wrote her lawyers in a statement to the press.
Instead, to her “stupefaction and pain”, all of the rock star’s wealth and the rights to the 110 million records he sold were left to his last wife Laeticia, a 42-year old former model.
The inheritance will eventually go to Jade and Joy, the girls they adopted in Vietnam.
Smet’s lawyers said her half-brother David Hallyday was also contesting the “rewritten” will, which was drawn up in California, where Hallyday spent much of his later years.
They argue that this is contrary to French law, which would automatically have given three-quarters of the inheritance to his four children, with at least part of the remainder going to his wife.